MA2MOD-Mathematical Modelling

Module Provider: Mathematics and Statistics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: MA1CA Calculus and MA1LA Linear Algebra
Non-modular pre-requisites: Some basic knowledge for programming with Matlab, R, Excel or similar.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Zuowei Wang

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will cover topics related to mathematical modelling, e.g. in the areas of science, engineering and finance.


To develop student’s problem solving skills by applying mathematical techniques to solve real world problems across a broad range of scientific, engineering and financial topics, such as Newton’s laws of motion, conservation of mass, cost optimisation, loan interest etc.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module students are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills to build mathematical models for given problems;

  • Derive and solve equations implied by appropriate applications using mathematical techniques: o    Dimensional analysis;

  • Calculus;

  • Ordinary differential equations;

  • Linear Algebra.

Additional outcomes:

Examine and visualise the model solutions by using mathematical and statistical programming skills, such as Matlab and R.

Outline content:

This module will be delivered in the following steps

  1. Model building;

  2. Applications of first order ordinary differential equations in topics such as conservation of mass, loan interest etc.

  3. Dimensional analysis;

  4. Applications of systems of ordinary differential equations in topics such as predator-prey and heating problems;

  5. Applications of second order ordinary differential equations in topics such as dynamics (Newton’s laws of motion).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures plus tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Tutorials 9
Guided independent study: 69
Total hours by term 98 2
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2 hours.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

In this module, there will be two assignments (paper-based maths questions with limited Matlab programming elements), each counting to 10% of the overall module mark.

  • Assignment 1 (10%): handed out in week 4, due in week 5

  • Assignment 2 (10%): handed out in week 9, due in week 11.

The exact hand-out and hand-in dates will be announced on BB at the beginning of the term.

Formative assessment methods:

Problem sheets.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

One examination paper of 2 hours duration in August/September - the resit module mark will be the higher of the exam mark (100% exam) and the exam mark plus previous coursework marks (80% exam, 20% coursework).

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 2 September 2021


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